unsent letters of condemnation of a raajav #2

Appa,

I understand that things are difficult for you with regard to the separation. But it is hard for me too. It is stressful to have you constantly not acknowledging the exact nature or reality of the situation. Amma is not coming back. Things rot to the point where it got to this and your incessant ignorance of this fact and placing the burden of expectation onto the others to magically change that fact. Please understand that it is not going to change.

The reality is that Amma will not be coming back and life has to be re-calibrated accordingly. And if you want to salvage a relationship with me (or my brother) it is necessary that you come around to accept this fact. Emotional blackmail and other such tactics are only serving to alienate us even more from you.

None of this is to say that I am not grateful for my early years of childhood. I do not paint you as terrible in your role as a father and you did play a huge role in deciding the kind of person who I have become. However, I do wonder how different things might have been if you had daughters instead of sons.

Regardless, I will not accept the argument that I should be so overwhelmingly grateful to the father that I ignore the reality - the genuine trauma of a wife leading to her leaving the husband.

People should be decent parents (or decent humans in general) not for wanting to be glorified for it, but on principle and with no expectations. If I ever have kids, I would not raise them well just to use it as a bargaining chip later. That only serves to devalue the decent thing you did in the first place. To love someone is not to claim ownership or rights over them. Love should also be about accepting their decisions even if its not what you want.

The ability to be critical in your thinking does not stop at understanding when something is wrong. It requires a lot of commitment in trying to rethink things you believe in and see around you and change accordingly. Your idea of using the patriarchal concept of “family” to try and convince yourself (and us) that this should not be happening itself is a pointer to a significant lack of intellectual endeavor on your part. Frankly, you are acting like an immature teenager by refusing to accept the reality of a break up and by reverting to nonsensical rationalizations.

Here’s something you often quoted without ever actually applying in your life, including the mails you send me which veers between extremes.

“Take the middle path”.

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